Then and Now – Sand Bay Bunker

This is a regular series of blogs about photographs of the same place taken years apart.

I quite like those Then and Now comparison photographs that you see in books or on the Twitter or Facebook.

I always think I should give them a go. However what I have started to notice is that I have been doing Then and Now photographs unintentionally over the years and have been taking photographs of the same thing or place from the same view or perspective years apart.  The first instance of this that came to my attention was last year in May when I went to Manchester.

It only really came to my attention that I was doing this a lot, when checking the Places function on the Apple Photos Mac App that I could see I had taken the same photograph of the same thing just years apart!

On the beach at Sand Bay is an old second world war pillbox. It looks like it has sunk into the sand, I am not sure if it has just sunk, or of it had slipped down the beach over the years.

This was the view in April 2017

Here is the (same) view in June 2020.

There appears to be an extra telegraph pole that was installed in the intervening  three years.

Even I was a little surprised to see that I had taken two photographs each time of the bunker.

This was another view in April 2017

Here is the (same) view in June 2020.

I do think it interesting that there are quite a few pillboxes and beach defences at Sand Bay. You wouldn’t have thought that this coastline was under threat of German invasion back in the 1940s. It’s quite a way from the continent and you would need to go around both Devon and Cornwall (going past Plymouth, a major Royal Navy port), as well as South Wales before hitting the beaches at Weston and Sandy Bay. However doing some research about the pillboxes, I came to realise that the British in 1940 did believe that invasion may come from the South West. The Taunton Stop Line was a defensive line in south west England. It was designed “to stop an enemy’s advance from the west and in particular a rapid advance supported by tanks which may have broken through the forward defences.

Sand Bay

A regular haunt of ours for a Sunday stroll is Sand Bay. I was surprised to find  this week that there was a bundle of new double yellow lines so we couldn’t park on the street. The first car park was full, but we managed to find a space in the other one. These car parks use to be free to use, but are now pay and display. Not too bad in some respects as it was £1 for two hours. So I say regular, but it had been June the last time we had been there! 

Though it was cold, it was still nice enough for a walk along the beach.

The tide was out and it was actually quite challenging to see where the sea was.

I think next time (with the right footwear) we might walk along Sand Point. The last time we did that was in 2016!

Walking along the beach at Sand Bay

We went to Sand Bay for a walk along the beach. Taking advantage of the easing of restrictions we were able to now drive to a place for a walk. To be honest we could probably cycle there from our house.

We parked in the village, mainly as I thought the car parks may still be closed. Though they weren’t, the two car parks we saw on our walk were packed full of cars.

Lots of other people had the same idea we had, but it was nowhere near as busy as other beaches we have seen on the news.

Though it was windy, it was quite a warm wind, and with the sun shining we walked down to Sand Point, though we had decided we wouldn’t walk along Sand Point, but we could see that others had had that idea.

On the way there we passed an old second world war pillbox.

It looks like it has sunk into the sand, I am not sure if it has just sunk, or of it had slipped down the beach over the years.

The car park at Sand Point was full, and with the narrowness of the road leading to the car park and limited turning space, the whole place was one big traffic jam. People unable to park, people unable to leave the car park, as those wanting to park were blocking the narrow road. I was glad we had parked up in the village and walked.

There was an ice cream van, and myself and Jacqui had a ice cream. It was nice to do something “normal” for a change.

We walked back to the car, and though I had seen the world war two pillbox in the sand before, I noticed that there were two more up on the dunes that I hadn’t seen before. Well if I had I hadn’t noticed them before.

I do think it interesting that there are quite a few pillboxes and beach defences at Sand Bay. You wouldn’t have thought that this coastline was under threat of German invasion back in the 1940s. It’s quite a way from the continent and you would need to go around both Devon and Cornwall (going past Plymouth, a major Royal Navy port), as well as South Wales before hitting the beaches at Weston and Sandy Bay.

However doing some research about the pillboxes, I came to realise that the British in 1940 did believe that invasion may come from the South West.

The Taunton Stop Line was a defensive line in south west England. It was designed “to stop an enemy’s advance from the west and in particular a rapid advance supported by tanks which may have broken through the forward defences.

After walking back to our car we went home.